China Mobile interested in Reliance

19 Sep 2005

Mobile giant China Mobile (Hong Kong) has offered to buy India’s second-smallest GSM operator Reliance Telecom, according to the Economic Times. In an unsourced report published today, the paper said that representatives of China Mobile had met senior officials of the Indian company’s parent group Reliance Industries to discuss a possible deal. Reliance Telecom offers GSM services in seven of India’s telecoms circles under the brand Reliance Mobile, predominantly in the east of the country. However, it is very much a minority interest for Reliance Industries, which conducts the bulk of its wireless operations via its CDMA-based subsidiary Reliance Infocomm. Reliance Telecom claimed 1.54 million users at the end of last month, giving it a share of under 2.5% of the GSM subscriber market, larger only than state-owned MTNL. At the same date, WiLL market leader Reliance Infocomm reported 11.13 million CDMA subscribers, after signing up nearly half a million new users in a month.

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